Legalization of narcotics is not the way to go

By Bertha Badu-Agyei, GNA

Aburi, October 8, GNA – The Deputy Executive
Secretary of the Narcotics Control Board (NCB) Mr Michael Addo, has stated that
legalization and decriminalization of narcotics was not the surest way to go as
far as bringing substance and narcotic abuse under control.

According to him, the legalization of
narcotics substances such as marijuana were thoughts that were expressed by
some section of the public however it was not endorsed so the new bill sent to
parliament did not capture that.

He, however, noted that because the use of
narcotics and addictions were public health issues, the new bill sought to
decriminalize the punishment of an addict who must be paid attention to and put
heavier punishment on those who dealt or sold the substances to the public.

Mr Addo who was addressing the opening of a
4-day community Anti-drug coalition workshop, said in that direction the bill
had captured the need for a well-resourced national rehabilitation center to
cater for the addicts as a way to reduce their burden on society and national
development in general.

He observed that addicts were stigmatised so
much that, the needed attention we had to give them like sending them to
rehabilitation centres were overlooked and added that the new bill would focus
on the rehabilitation and re-integration of addicts into the society than
incarceration.

The workshop was organized by the Community
Anti-Drug Coalition of America (CADCA) an American based non-governmental
organization, in collaboration with Philip foundation Programme, a local NGO to
build capacities of coalition groups in Ghana to mobilize community resources
to address issues of drug and substance abuse.

Mr Philip Boateng Mensah, Executive Director
of Philip Foundation, noted that legalizing narcotic drugs would not be in the
interest of Ghana, because it would encourage more people to become addicted to
drugs and expressed the hope that the training would equip the participants to
lead the crusade against drug abuse in their respective communities.

GNA

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